Defensive duo return to the fold

Tuesday, 24th May 2011

Manchester Phoenix are extremely pleased to announce the return of Luke Boothroyd and last season's Players' Player of the year Ladislav Harabin. Luke returns for his fourth season with the club. Last year, his second as club skipper, saw him pick up the English Premier League Trophy and lead the team to the semi finals in both the Premier Cup and the League Play-offs. He best describes himself as a quiet, unassuming defenceman who just goes about his business. Last season he was an ever-present, icing in all 59 games. Although not managing to find the net himself, he gained 12 assists and a total of 50 penalty minutes.

Luke said: "Last season was a great year for the team as it was Manchester Phoenix's first trophy and my first trophy in my professional career. We had our fair share of close games in which we managed to edge out teams by the odd goal. That is the sign of a winning team. We had 4 top class imports with a good depth of quality and experienced Brits which proved to be a stronger team than the previous year."

Coach Tony Hand said: "On the ice, Luke is reliable and dependable every night, and has provided a cool presence both on and off the ice for the 3 years he has been with the team. He is well respected by his team mates and club staff and is a great person to have around. I'm extremely glad he is part of the Manchester Phoenix."

Ladislav Harabin, affectionately known as Ladzi, returns, following a standout season in which he made the League All Star Starting Line Up and was voted as the Phoenix Players' Player of the season. He played 45 games, scoring 9 goals and 23 assists with 69 penalty minutes. Quite a remarkable feat considering he had 2 serious injuries during the campaign, the latter of which had everyone worried about his playing career. Fortunately, as is his nature, Ladzi bounced back for the last few games of the season and looked like he had never been away.

Speaking from his home in Slovakia, Ladzi has a few words for the fans: "I had a wonderful time in Manchester last year. The fans are the best I have ever played for. The cheer I got on my return to the team from injury was something I have never experienced before.We are champions and I hope to help make us the same again next year. See you in September."

Player coach Hand said: "Ladzi was the best defender in the league last year and, despite other teams chasing his signature, he always said he wanted to return to Phoenix. It is a great signing for the club and, hopefully, he can avoid those nasty injuries next term."

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